Six-figure federal grant to largely fund radio upgrades for local firefighters

AUG. 16– The Hardin County Fire Department has received a federal “Assistance to Firefighters Grant” for $325,546 from the Department of Homeland Security.

Under the grant requirements, the local department is to contribute 10 percent – or $32,554. According to county Fire Chief Melvin Martin, the entire combined total of $358,100 will be used for a complete overhaul of the department’s communications equipment.

“Communications is a vital link in everything we do – if we don’t have solid, effective communications we can’t do our jobs. It’s a vital link between us and 911 dispatchers, our response, between each other, and ensuring public safety,” Martin said.

The grant award says the purpose of the Assistance to Firefighters program is to “protect the health and safety of the public and firefighting personnel against fire and fire-related hazards.”

In the grant, HCFD is named as the host department for handling the application process and administration of the grant, but the communications project will also benefit the Savannah, Saltillo and Crump fire departments.

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